Fri, Oct 12, 2012 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Taiwan’s values deserve respect

However, during his trip, Hsieh met with high-ranking Chinese officials like China’s State Councilor Dai Bingguo (戴秉國), who is also head of the general office of foreign affairs leadership group of the CCP’s Central Committee, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi (王毅), as well as Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林). In addition, Hsieh met with Chinese governmental, political and military think tanks that conduct work on Taiwan.

If we look carefully at all the people he met, we will see a striking similarity between Hsieh’s visit and previous visits to China by KMT officials, like former KMT chairmen Lien Chan (連戰) and Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄).

Second, when it comes to the content of issues discussed between Taiwan and China, the worst thing about the KMT is the way it did not wait for a consensus to be reached here in Taiwan, how it did not keep voters informed and the way it invented the “1992 consensus” and then engaged in secret talks with China.

However, much of Hsieh’s itinerary in Beijing was not made public and he told Wang that the DPP “did not think the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ existed” while also proclaiming his “constitutional consensus” as an alternative.

We really have to ask just where did Hsieh’s “consensus” come from anyway? Who approved it? How many people does this “consensus” represent? How does it differ from the actions the KMT has taken that have seen it trample all over Taiwan’s democratic process?

Third, the most disturbing thing we have seen emerge since the KMT and the CCP jumped into bed together more than four years ago is the way they are both merely concerned with the interests of pro-unification businesses and the way they have totally avoided mentioning China’s civil society.

Even worse is the way the KMT has treated dissidents such as Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer and exiled Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan (王丹). All were initially welcomed, only to later be rejected.

The DPP has recently proposed a policy of “getting to know China better” and avoiding the mistakes the KMT has made in the past. If this really is the way the DPP plans to move forward, then we have to ask how much dialogue Hsieh managed to open up with China’s civil society during his trip and what he learned in the process.

If we do not ask such questions, how can we expect his formulas of a “constitutional consensus” and “one Constitution, two interpretations” to be anything but mere absurd fabrications?

Hsieh’s trip showed us a member of the DPP talking at great length with Chinese officials responsible for Taiwan affairs in Beijing on “facing differences, respecting differences and handling differences.”

However, before this can be done, it is of the utmost importance that these differences be clarified. These are not differences between the DPP and the CCP. Nor are they differences between the KMT and the CCP. They are rather the differences that exist between Taiwan and China and by that we mean democracy, freedom, human rights, equality, dignity and peace.

These are values that have been synonymous with Taiwan for a long time now and are also the basic premises that Taiwan cannot leave out of its dealings with China.

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